Latest

BiE’s official Irish awards ballot +++ Joakim Noah wins NBA Defensive Player of the Year +++ Swee’ Pea makes the cut – Reaches Funding Target +++ The Dish – Too Rude for Masai Uijiri +++ The BBL experience – Rowdy in Frankfurt +++ Fearless predictions: Euroleague playoffs +++ A Dario triple-double? Now that’s good timing +++ Swee’ Pea needs your help +++ Final Four: What the bookies say when the bookies talk +++ The greatest Eurodance tribute to Goran Dragic ever +++
Feb
0

Fox Sports Net: Andrei Kirilenko’s uniqueness defies technology, statistics (no kidding)

(Andrei Kirilenko image courtesy ESPN.com)

Kirilenko: The nearly undefinable, the “beautiful bastard”

There’s an ages-old joke about the United States and the former Soviet Union’s approaches to technological innovation during the “Space Race”-dominated era of the 1960s which feels no less true in spite of its almost certain apocryphal nature.

Before those days of text-messaging, tweeting and desktop computers larger than actual desk, NASA had set out, as the story goes, to develop a pen that could write in zero-gravity conditions where ink doesn’t properly flow. After thousands of man-hours and surely millions of dollars were invested to no avail, one day a devastating bit of news came from intelligence. The Russians had not only already solved the problem at a fraction of the US’ cost, the solution had proved 100% workable in the demanded conditions. That solution? Use a pencil.

Again, the story is likely untrue in terms of sheer fact, but it does illustrate the tendency of certain cultures at this point in history to throw money at propositions thought best addressed with high-tech.

Thus, today we have Fox Sports Net blogger Joan Niesen using a new high-tech camera to tell us something the Russians (and any international hoops devotee) could’ve figured much more cheaply: That Andrei Kirilenko’s skills are so intangible yet so omnipresent as to defy easy statistical analysis. Niesen uses STATS’ SportVU 3-D camera system to produce some wider-ranging statistics to better express how much AK-47 means to this year’s Timberwolves.

Notes Niesen, among other things:

• “Kirilenko possesses the ball an average of 49 times per game, for an average of 80 seconds per game. That’s the largest amount of time holding the ball for any player on the team that does not play at the point guard position.

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Feb
1

Super Timberwolves: Peks, AK-47, Shved, Rubio as manga-style heroes [Update, translation]

Big shout out this morning to heinnews, who’s provided BallinEurope with a translation of the Minnesota Timberwolves manga-type comic strip that recently appeared in the Japan-based Dunk Shot sports paper. Read along, panel by panel, below the break — hilarious stuff, really … and who knew Nikola Pekovic had such problems with the ladies?

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Nov
15

Minnesota Timberwolves bullets: How good are these guys?

Nice choice, BallinEurope readers. The Minnesota Timberwolves, selected as BiE’s NBA home team for the 2012-13 season, are early darlings in the big league, managing to get off to a respectable 4-2 start (“Their best start in 11 years!” went the hype after the Wolves’ win over the Indiana Pacers) while Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and at present J.J. Barea are down to injury.

BallinEurope checks in this morning with those fantastic Eurowolves, bullet-style with video and an Official Fearless Prediction™ or two below.

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Nov
0

Update on Rubio injury, rehab

The “Monday Hangover” column on greater happenings last week in European ball will be posted later today, but in keeping with the promise to cover our new home team, here’s a few words on the woefully still MIA Ricky Rubio.

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune noted on Saturday that “Rubio, coming back from knee surgery, looked very nimble. The Wolves have bringing Rubio along slowly, deliberately. But, week by week, he looks to be doing more. Saturday he was doing lateral movement exercises with Love … during his sprint he looked very fast.

“I would imagine,” concluded Zgoda, “Rubio isn’t far away from…”

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Aug
0

Meeting of Dream Teams as Dude Perfect hangs with Team USA

Before the USA-Argentina game last night, Olympic host city London played host to a meeting of Dream Teams, as ultimate basketball trick-shot artists Dude Perfect set out to – and achieved – get interviews with every single member of Team USA.

Dude Perfect...

...meets perfect dudes

Fans of the ‘Perfect ones may be slightly dismayed to hear that “Hot Tubbing with USA Basketball” (it’s a Dallas thing) contains just one trick shot – though the nonchalant contribution from James Harden is amazing indeed. On the other hand, you can find if Tyson Chandler is having problems with the Olympic Village showers, who ostensibly taught Lebron James his deadliest trick shot, and Kevin Love’s opinion on “white guys” in the 200 meters. Funny stuff.

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Jul
27

USA 86, Argentina 80: How beatable are the Yanks?

Though not actually about European basketball, last night’s USA 86, Argentina 80 pre-Olympic friendly result leads BallinEurope to put forth a few talking points from the notebook (and highlight clips, of course)…

• Perhaps slightly flawed as a whole, the truth is that Team USA still has the best three players in the world right now in Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Lebron James. The opening 16-1 run was indicative of what this trio is capable. Eschewing playing any sort of serious inside game at all in the first 10 minutes, KD and Kobe teed off enough to outscore the entire Argentine side, 22-16; Lebron meanwhile controlled the D.

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Jul
34

Who can stop Team USA?

This one goes out by request to BallinEurope’s Lithuanian agent Y. … with Team USA coming together to play the Dominican Republic today – with or without Chris Paul – BiE tries to answer the question “Who [if anyone] can beat Team USA?”

Good one.

A few gauntlets have been thrown by the Americans already, the least of which is certainly not the roster itself. That roster, one more time, is the following.

Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks)
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Jun
3

Besiktas 80, Anadolu Efes 76: The BallinEurope review of a triple-crown season

Besiktas introduces Deron Williams: It seems like so long ago...

Congratulations go out from BallinEurope to Beşiktaş Milangaz, who capped a fascinating whirlwind run last night with an 80-76 victory over Anadolu Efes in game six of the TBL championship series. The Black Eagles may add the trophy to their Turkish Cup and FIBA Eurochallenge title in 2011-12, certainly the most successful – and among the most bizarre – seasons the club has ever experienced.

Beşiktaş’ season, like any power in club hoops, began in the summer. All they did to top last year’s high-profile signing of the ultimately marginal Allen Iverson was ink Deron Williams, a franchise guard at his peak, to the biggest contract in European basketball with an NBA out-clause when the player lockout was to be settled.

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Mar
2

Rubio out ‘til 2012-13; options and outlook for Team Spain, Minnesota Timberwolves [Updated]

A moment of silence, please, in memory of Ricky Rubio’s 2011-12 season.

After Rubio suffered an injury in Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves fans held their collective breath, and the Human YouTube Highlight Clip got another video added to his virtual collection – one that La Pistola certainly never wanted to see.

Yesterday, the team was forced to announce that Rubio in fact had torn his left ACL, an injury that ends his NBA season with a surprising Timberwolves side who’d gotten as high as no. 8 in the Western Conference. Worse yet for international hoops fans, Rubio will miss the entire 2012 Olympic Games, a bit of blow to Team Spain.

National team head coach Sergio Scariolo was quoted on Saturday morning as stating that “I woke up to the bad news this morning, although there remains the slight hope that it isn’t too serious.” Of course, it ultimately was.

Spain-based website Te Interesa contemplates Sergio Scariolo’s moves for the Olympics, with Jose Calderon suddenly thrust from a platoon role to full-time starter. The website also reckons that Real Madrid’s Sergio Llull might be shifted to the no. 2 spot, while Team Spain will certainly have to deemphasize the playmaker role – the latter of which BiE figures is a strategy tantamount to death in international ‘ball.

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Mar
0

Tweet of the week: Kevin Love charts Ricky Rubio’s progress in English

Not only did Kevin Love put in a superstar-level 39-point, 17-rebound performance in his Minnesota Timberwolves’ 95-94 win over the Los Angeles Clippers last night, he also has BallinEurope’s informal Tweet Of The Week award locked up on Tuesday. And the 141-characters-or-less bit of pithiness is (drumroll, please) …

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